Coronavirus | Victims of the COVID - 19 pandemic lead to higher prices for seafood

Coronavirus | Victims of the COVID - 19 pandemic lead to higher prices for seafood

After experiencing wider declines last year amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the fishing and seafood sectors are still floundering due to the effects of supply chain issues, worker shortages and renewed consumer demand.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Fisheries wrote at the beginning of the year that coronavirus contributed to an almost immediate impact on seafood sector sales, including loss of revenue at most aquaculture, aquaponics, and allied businesses and charter fishing operations.

Now, chefs and restaurant owners are speaking out about why pandemic woes have led to higher prices for their customers.

According to SeafoodSource, premium items are being canceled from menus across the country because the delicacies are too hard or expensive to source.

The publication reported that Beau Rivage executive chef Kristian Wade said that prices on most items have risen by at least 50% in the past quarter.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the wholesale price of finfish and shellfish increased in June of last year by 18,8%; the price of fish and seafood rose 4.5% over the same period.

Bloomberg reported last week that certain items had risen dramatically the cost of the past year, and that some restaurants had decided to saddle customers with the costs.

Labor shortages have been a problem outside of the sector and other industries such as hospitality and travel have also seen a surge in interest over the summer following vaccinations.

The New York Post noted that U.S. ports are not equipped with workers and that a shortage of truck drivers and fishermen hurts restaurants.

Further impacts came from environmental-related issues like the impact of the West's drought and record -breaking June heat waves or the Florida Red tide and large fishes off the coast of St. Petersburg.

States that depend on the sector which had generated more than $200 billion in annual sales and supported 1.7 million jobs are offering millions of investments in economic relief, including Maryland and Massachusetts.